Few changes while I am waiting for the weather to improve.
LED lights – lots of people speak about how the Caterham lights are a bit underwhelming and I can see that. I got the clear lens pack as an option, and that gets supplied with some LED bulbs, but it still leaves a bit to be desired. I went upgraded rear clusters and front LED repeaters from Just Add Lightness and I can’t recommend them enough. Make sure you get the LED relay if you do this to prevent the lights flashing too fast. After I fitted the rear lights and they weren’t working I sent the company an email 6pm on Friday, I got a call back 5 minutes later from Doug the owner, who spent the next couple of days going back and forth with me on Whatsapp to help troubleshoot. Turns out it was my battery that was the issue, that’s another story, but the one thing that was clear was the level of customer service from JAL is outstanding, Doug just went above and beyond.
High level brake light – Also purchased two of these from Just Add Lightness. I am fitting one on each side of the roll cage. Idea behind high level lights is you are so low. I’ve had issues before in my Peugeot 207 where someone close behind me in their MPV couldn’t see I was stopped with hazards on, so it’s only going to get worse when your bum is about 3 inches off the floor. The RHS of the caterham has a splitter already wired for a high level brake light, so installing there is easy (and if you only get one, you can just wire it to the RHS). For the LHS, I ordered another sub loom from caterhamparts. You could make your own, but for 10 quid I figured easier to just order than source all the parts. You just swap out the existing sub-loom with this new one on the LHS and you get another wiring point.
For both the above instructions available on the Just Add Lightness website
Mobile Phone Holder – I thought about this but figured its good to have one in place in case I need a map, and realistically, for the safety camera warnings. Obviously not that I am speeding or advocating it … I just like to know where the safety cameras are. Can also use this to control music. I went with the Brodit solution, I got a 3D printed bracket from Ebay, this fits on the tonneau poppers on the scuttle. That is just a mount, you also need to purchase a custom clip from Brodit to put on that mount. I removed the scuttle trim for this (think it looks nicer without), unscrewed the two poppers on the scuttle and mounted the bracket under the poppers before screwing back up. Also got a USB cigarette lighter adapter in case I need to charge anything on the go.
Music – can be controversial, but I want the ability to blast out some music if the mood captures me… I decided to not fit permanently wired speakers. Modern bluetooth speakers are quite impressive and can be hooked up easily – especially when it is so easy to access music via your phone. I bought a UE Megaboom 3, which I have secured with zip ties to begin with. You can get multiple speakers and hook them up together, and it works just configured as a bluetooth output/headset on your phone. At the moment I just have one. Seems OK so far in the house, haven’t been out in car yet.
Tyre Care– Having had the wife’s car tyre going flat during lockdown, and also one of the tyres on the Caterham going flat in my garage, I decided to feed my Makita tool habit and purchase their 18V tyre inflator. Nice to have the ability to pump up at home. While this should measure pressure, I also use an analogue meter as backup – these are your four points of contact with the road afterall. I have the Draper Tyre Pressure Gauge for that.
As with lots of things on the Caterham you can argue it’s over the top, but it’s helped me out a couple of times and I top off all our cars with it monthly now. Note: This tyre inflator does not include a battery, so if you don’t have Makita batteries already, be careful because you’ll need to buy their battery type, at about 50 quid a pop. I’ve got maybe 10-15 different Makita power tools and 4 x 5.0Ah batteries, so marginal tool purchases with them are pretty cost effective. That’s what I tell myself at least.
I keep the Caterham tyres at 23 PSI as per the manual. I have Avon ZZS tyres
– 6J x 13″ (185/55R13 W) on front
– 8J x 13″ (215/55R13 W) on the rear
Yours may vary! When I got the Caterham back, the RHS rear tyre had a slow leak. I couldn’t find any punctures – took it to the local tyre shop and turned out it was the bead around the rim of the alloy that had a gap and a very slow leak. They re-sealed the tyre free of charge, which was kind of them.
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